A man arrested in January for allegedly stealing from his employer died Wednesday morning from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.
According to a press release from the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office, Howard S. Rosenthal, 53, of Safety Harbor was found about 8 a.m. in Phillippe Park with a gunshot wound to the head. He was transported by helicopter to Bayfront Medical Center. He was pronounced dead about 11 a.m.
Deputies said Rosenthal was found by a citizen slumped over on a bench near Shelter 7 at the Park just over a mile from his Safety Harbor home. Detectives searched the area and his car and found no notes, the report said.
The Sheriff's Economic Crimes Unit started an investigation into Rosenthal's activities in September 2008, after his employer contacted the Sheriff's Office with concerns that Rosenthal may have embezzled company funds.
The investigation centered on records and Rosenthal’s business activities while he was employed with Colliers Arnold, a Clearwater property management firm.
Rosenthal resigned from Colliers Arnold on Aug. 21, 2008 after other company executives requested that he provide additional information on his invoices and receipts, to include his company laptop and its contents.
Rosenthal was appointed by a judge as interim property manager for Bay Walk in St. Petersburg on Jan. 13 as part of foreclosure proceeding.
A warrant was issued Jan. 14 for Rosenthal's arrest. He turned himself in at the Pinellas County Jail on Jan.15. He was booked into the Pinellas County jail on one felony count of grand theft for allegedly diverting more than $170,000 of company funds for his own use. He was released after posting a $50,000 surety bond.
A hearing on the case had been scheduled on June 29.